Worries about money, the economy, income levels, and finances are behind many women’s stress eating and overeating these days. In a recent group coaching call, every participant’s dominant concern boiled down to money worries of one form or another. Even if your own financial situation is secure, the worries, stress, and difficulties of others surround us in a big way.
Feeling out of control, anxious, worried, or unhappy are all triggers for emotional eating, so I thought this week I’d share some tips to keep stress about the economy from affecting your actual bottom line.
Stress Eating and the Economy–Tip One to Stop Emotional Eating: Acknowledge the Stress and Your Feelings
As tempting as it is to avoid reality, it’s so important to acknowledge the stress and the way you are feeling. That doesn’t mean that you are going to dwell on it or feel that way forever, but if you don’t let yourself deal with your feelings directly, you won’t be very effective at responding to them.
One of the members of my Smart Choices Success Circle program had been avoiding getting clear on how her financial situation has been impacted by the stock market. She was worried and fearful and was trying to cope by “not thinking about it.” Instead of feeling better, she found herself facing mounting dread and guilt for not doing what she knew she needed to do to clarify her situation. She also found herself snacking more–especially in the evening–and putting on weight. As this happened, she began to feel more out of control. Luckily, she saw herself entering a vicious cycle where trying to avoid her feelings led to emotional eating, guilt, and weight gain (and didn’t help with the worry and stress anyway–in fact it added to it). It wasn’t until she acknowledged how stressed, worried, and fearful she was that she could start to develop a plan to take care of herself.
A coaching client was noticing that economic changes were leading to changes in her clients’ buying habits. She panicked when a popular program wasn’t so popular anymore. Instead of spiraling into fear (and stress eating), acknowledging how she was feeling allowed her move into some effective problem solving.
Tip: If you have money worries or fears or stress, give yourself some time to let yourself really think about and address your feelings. This is not the same as “fixing” the situation. Give yourself time to journal, talk with a supportive friend, or think about how you feel.
Take good care,